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NORMA JEAN GOMEZ v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/23/87)

decided: November 23, 1987.

NORMA JEAN GOMEZ, D/B/A KIDDIE KOLLEGE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, OFFICE OF CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Docket No. 18-85-014.

COUNSEL

Dennis J. Miller, with him, Kevin G. Sasinoski, Miller & Templin, for petitioner.

Jeffrey P. Schmoyer, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Craig, Doyle and Barry, sitting as a panel of three.

Author: Craig

[ 111 Pa. Commw. Page 235]

Norma Jean Gomez appeals a decision of the Department of Public Welfare to rescind her Family Day Care Home Certificate because there was an indicated report of child abuse on file naming Gomez as the perpetrator of abuse. After a hearing on the department's rescission, the Director of the Office of Hearings and Appeals adopted the hearing officer's recommendation and denied the appeal. We affirm.

[ 111 Pa. Commw. Page 236]

This court must determine whether the Hearing Officer's adjudication as adopted by the Office of Hearings and Appeals was made in accordance with the law and without violation of appellant's constitutional rights and whether the findings are supported by substantial evidence. Children and Youth Services v. Department of Public Welfare, 103 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 616, 520 A.2d 1246 (1987).

The specific legal issue is whether an indicated report of child abuse, and the record underlying it, provides a sufficient basis for rescission of such a child care certificate when the holder has been acquitted of criminal charges arising out of the same circumstances.

The hearing officer's findings of facts are as follows: The Office of Children, Youth and Families issued a registration certificate to operate a family day care home to the appellant on July 16, 1982. On May 21, 1984, the appellant began caring for R.A., a baby girl. On August 29, 1984, while R.A. was in appellant's care, she suffered an injury. The appellant called paramedics, who rushed R.A. to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. R.A. was admitted to Children's Hospital on August 29, 1984, and was discharged on August 31 with a diagnosis of traumatic encephalopathy, a physical trauma to the brain.

On October 12, 1984, the Allegheny County Police arrested the appellant on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. The trial court, sitting without a jury, acquitted the appellant of the charge on March 27, 1985.

On an unestablished date, the Allegheny County Child and Youth Agency filed an indicated report of child abuse regarding the August 29, 1984 incident with R.A., naming the appellant as the perpetrator. The appellant's request to expunge the record of the ...


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